Nature's Classroom

508-248-2741 or 1-800-433-8375

Dr. John G. Santos, Director
19 Harrington Rd
Charlton, MA 01507

Hilltop

Charlton, MA

Site Highlights

The 600 acres of woodlands shared between the Hilltop and Pondside site are diverse and ideal for exploring. The land includes a great variety of trails, some meander on wide paths, while others are more rugged and lead deep into the woods.

Groups can take the Sand Trail to a large clearing that was caused by a tornado in 2011, where they can learn about destruction and successional regrowth in our forests. Continuing past the recently created meadows, students can find a swamp ecosystem and investigate how prolonged flooding can affect the plants growing in an area.

On the other side of property, students can walk through a pine grove and discover Hemlock Falls, a small waterfall created by a stream passing over large glacial erratic rocks.

In addition to our many trails, field groups can also make use of our low ropes challenge course. Here students practice working cooperatively as a team while attempting to complete a series of initiatives.


Housing and Facilities

East Wing and West Wing: Our two dormitory buildings are identical and in a close proximity to one another. Both wings have 19 rooms, each with its own private bathroom. The rooms include two bunk bed beds and one dresser. There are two rooms in each wing with one bunk bed, ideal for chaperones. The housing at Hilltop provides groups with ample space and privacy during their stay.

Teaching Spaces: Located beneath West Wing are four classrooms. While we do most of our activities outside, we take advantage of the indoor spaces during inclement weather.

Pavilion: The Hilltop facility shares a large indoor gymnasium with Pondside. This space is multi-purpose and includes a stage at one end. The Pavilion is perfect for many large-group activities, as well as free time on rainy days.

Recreational Facilities: During free time, Hilltop offers students the use of two gaga pits, a basketball court, a foursquare court, a soccer pitch, and large fields.